Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hierarchical Tags

RawSugar are bravely attempting to put some order in the tagging chaos using hierarchical tags. This goes back to my post about that need to structure this tagged chaos into something that makes more sense for us engineer types. But it doesn't feel right. The magic in tagging partially lies in the simplicty of rapidly typing away these tags, freeing you from "post activation analysis paralysis".

Putting hierarchy back into the system puts us more or less where we started. Is Humus categorized under "Food", "Israeli Culture Basics" or "Highly Explosive Materials"? I don't know, and I don't want to think about it.

I think that the Flickr clustering feature, in a way, attempts to solve the same problem but from a different angle, one that in my opinion is better aligned with the tagging spirit. While the solution is very different, the result in some cases is the same - tags grouped together in a loosly defined zero-semanthics and yet useful group.

Can the clustering logic be made more useful (e.g. create clusters that make more sense for us humans)? I believe that the answer is a clear yes. And I might take a shot at proving it :)

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